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Meredith Goad

Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.

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Posted: January 7, 2019

Totally Tubers’ punny potatoes are tasty too

Written by: Meredith Goad

An employee loads up a potato at Totally Tubers, a new dining spot that recently opened in the Public Market in Portland. Photos by Meredith Goad

A potato bar has opened in the Old Port, just in time for comfort food season.

Not all of Totally Tubers’ loaded potatoes could be considered, ahem, health food – the Spudz MacKenzie contains fried hot dog slices – but they are still a nice alternative to a drive-through hamburger meal, and cost about the same. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to drop a few pounds, you always have the option of building your own (a Russet or a sweet potato) with ingredients such as garlic wilted spinach, steamed broccoli and sautéed fava beans, instead of choosing from the tarted-up options on the menu. Substitute fresh herbed Greek yogurt for sour cream, for example, or ask for a heavy drizzle of olive oil instead of butter. The Load it Your Way option costs $9 and includes up to four toppings. Additional toppings are $2 for meats or $1 for “non-meats.”

The Bosemite Yam contains maple butter, applewood smoked bacon, blue cheese and candied maple pecans.

We went for the custom-designed taters, one Russet and one sweet potato, all with cute names, like I Yam What I Yam and Silence of the Yams. We chose the Bosemite Yam, a sweet potato with maple butter, applewood smoked bacon, blue cheese and candied maple pecans, for $9. It tasted as good as it sounds. Our favorite, though, was the “Darth Tater,” a $12 Russet piled with maple butter, cheddar cheese, house-made pulled pork, caramelized sweet onions, house cheesy sauce, crispy kale chips, diced red onion, sour cream and “totally bitchen BBQ sauce.” It all mixed together well, so although we saw the potato maker pour on the cheesy sauce, we couldn’t really differentiate it from anything else. The kale chips were just OK, more soggy than crispy. But the overall flavor was great, and the diced red onion gave the potato a nice bite we loved. More cuteness: The employee who built the potato inserted a tiny plastic lightsaber into it, so we could tell the Darth Tater from the Bosemite Yam.

This Darth Tater is loaded up with maple butter, cheddar cheese, sour cream, diced red onions, house-made pulled pork, house cheesy sauce, kale chips and “bitchen BBQ sauce.”

Other options include the Decapi-tater for $10, a Russet filled with jalapeno butter, house cheesy sauce, pepper jack, spicy bacon, sundried tomatoes, sour cream and fresh jalapeno rings, and daily specials such as the one that was on the blackboard the day we visited – it sounded a lot like the Decapi-tater, only instead of bacon it contained Don’t Be a Jerk Chicken.

There are nine custom taters altogether, ranging in price from $6 to $12. Most are $8 to $10.

If you’re still hungry for dessert, Totally Tubers also sells sweet potato pie for $5 per slice.

Potato puns are free.

TOTALLY TUBERS POTATO BAR

WHERE: Public Market House, 2nd floor, 28 Monument Square, Portland; (207) 805-1090
HOURS: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
WAIT: 5-10 minutes
PARKING: On the street or in Monument Square garage
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes

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